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Hayley

2021 Updates and Improvements

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I wanted to start this thread to give you all a clear idea of what's happening with the forum right now and because I'm hoping you're all going to volunteer your excellent ideas :lol:.

 

 

First Things First 

We are still getting niggling issues with loading, links etc. I know and I'm sorry it hasn't been sorted out already. We need to move to Invision's hosting plan to get this fixed and, as those of you who've been following this for a while know, our current hosts refused to give Invision the file they needed to make the switch. However, I have a web developer working on it at the moment (which is what Invision advised) and he's assured me that he's nearly done. He's been very sympathetic to the situation our hosts have put us in and has given us an amazing price. He's doing this alongside a lot of other (probably much better paid) work and I'm extremely grateful for it. 

 

So, with that on track...

 

The Future of the Forum 

I'm very excited for the future of the forum and the possibilities that being hosted by Invision should open up. Once the move finally happens I'm going to be setting up a few threads where you can all have your say on possible changes. I promise I won't do anything you all hate but I want the ideas to be a surprise for now :D (the writers amongst you might want to start stretching your fingers though...).

 

 

Teamwork 

It's really important to me that we develop the forum together. That's the only way we can continue to have a space that we all enjoy and can welcome new like-minded people to! So I want to know what your ideas are. What do you think would make the forum a better place for you, or help new people join in?

BGO people, for example, I know a few of you have mentioned that you used the threads differently on your forum. Is that something you miss? Would you like to suggest that other members start using the genre threads more as well as their personal blogs?

 

Please don't worry that I'm going to take suggestions as criticism. You would actually be being very helpful. Even if you have an idea you think is a bit crazy, just throw it out there! If it's literally not possible I'll let you know but it definitely won't happen if you don't say anything! 

 

 

 

Ok, start posting please :) 

 

 

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36 minutes ago, Hayley said:


...but I want the ideas to be a surprise for now :D 

 

 

It's cosplay, isn't it?

 

Well, I'm not dressing up as Jane Austin again...

 

46 minutes ago, Hayley said:

 

Ok, start posting please :) 

 

 

Well, you did ask...

 

On a more serious note, I'll just throw this one out there for thought:

 

We have a section called Books Search and Reading Recommendations, which is subtitled: This section has a dual purpose, to help you if you're searching for the title of a particular book, or if you're looking for new reading suggestions.

 

It seems to me that in that section we have an awful lot of the former and not a whole lot of the latter (in fact, the last time I checked, we didn't appear to have any member recommendations in the thread!)

 

Most of the posts about books that are made on the forum take place in individual user's threads and usually they take the form of book reviews; it is rare for someone to specifically start a post to recommend a book and tell people why they should read it.

 

What if the existing section were split in two, with the first section being kept for book searches (and people wanting recommendations for books that are like other books they have read) and a second, new section, where members are encouraged to recommend books or series they think others should read? 

 

The idea wouldn't be for people just to write a one line "Read Twilight, 'cause its aces!" type comment, but to explain a little about the book and author, and to explain why it is worth reading.

 

The return of a semi-regular book group might not be be a bad idea, as well.

 

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7 minutes ago, Raven said:

It's cosplay, isn't it?

 

Well, I'm not dressing up as Jane Austin again...

I have the best image of us all sitting at our computers dressed as authors now :giggle2:

 

3 minutes ago, Raven said:

What if the existing section were split in two, with the first section being kept for book searches (and people wanting recommendations for books that are like other books they have read) and a second, new section, where members are encouraged to recommend books or series they think others should read? 

Yes! I absolutely agree with this! 

 

4 minutes ago, Raven said:

The return of a semi-regular book group might not be be a bad idea, as well.

You mean like the group reads, or like the old Reading Circle? 

 

 

(More of this please everyone! :lol:)

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1 minute ago, Hayley said:

 

You mean like the group reads, or like the old Reading Circle? 

 

 

Possibly, I can't recall how either worked now, but something where members read and comment on the same book.

 

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I'm from BGO and would like to suggest that books be reviewed in the main section of the forum so the it's easier for members to see them. Members can put links in their personal reading blogs so that that isn't taken away from them. We at BGO have found that reviewing books on the main forum is a great way to find books that we would otherwise have not come across.

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2 minutes ago, lunababymoonchild said:

 

I'm from BGO and would like to suggest that books be reviewed in the main section of the forum so the it's easier for members to see them. Members can put links in their personal reading blogs so that that isn't taken away from them. We at BGO have found that reviewing books on the main forum is a great way to find books that we would otherwise have not come across.

 

 

I think there are merits and draw backs to both approaches, but I don't think it should be prescribed that people should post in a set way.

 

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14 minutes ago, Raven said:

 

I think there are merits and draw backs to both approaches, but I don't think it should be prescribed that people should post in a set way.

 


Just a suggestion. People are going to have to post in some kind of format. I'm sure that it's just what the individual is used to.

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38 minutes ago, Raven said:

Possibly, I can't recall how either worked now, but something where members read and comment on the same book.

I'll have a look at both and maybe the format can be something we all vote on. The Reading Circles were before my time so if anybody does remember those could you let me know :).

 

40 minutes ago, lunababymoonchild said:

Members can put links in their personal reading blogs so that that isn't taken away from them. We at BGO have found that reviewing books on the main forum is a great way to find books that we would otherwise have not come across.

 Is the way you would review in the genre threads be the same as the way we review in our reading blogs? Or would they usually have more of a focus on generating conversation about the book? 

I did notice that someone (maybe Hux?) was posting their review on their book blog and starting a thread for it as well. I do feel that might be better than people putting lots of links to other pages in their blogs, just for ease of reading (and especially since a lot of us do multiple reviews at a time - you don't want to end up with lots of tabs open or having to keep re-loading the page). What do you think?

 

36 minutes ago, Raven said:

but I don't think it should be prescribed that people should post in a set way.

No, I totally agree with that. Everyone should definitely feel that they can post however they want (and I suppose that's part of why we love the personal space of our reading blogs!). We do have a lot of space in those genre threads that we don't really use though, I think it would be nice to see them active again if a few people like the idea of using them as well as our blogs. 

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51 minutes ago, Hayley said:

Is the way you would review in the genre threads be the same as the way we review in our reading blogs? Or would they usually have more of a focus on generating conversation about the book? 

I did notice that someone (maybe Hux?) was posting their review on their book blog and starting a thread for it as well. I do feel that might be better than people putting lots of links to other pages in their blogs, just for ease of reading (and especially since a lot of us do multiple reviews at a time - you don't want to end up with lots of tabs open or having to keep re-loading the page). What do you think?

 

No, I totally agree with that. Everyone should definitely feel that they can post however they want (and I suppose that's part of why we love the personal space of our reading blogs!). We do have a lot of space in those genre threads that we don't really use though, I think it would be nice to see them active again if a few people like the idea of using them as well as our blogs. 


We review the book as we see it and that can generate much in the way of discussion. It seems to me that it's easier to discuss a book on it's own thread than in the midst of three reviews of different books on the one page in a blog.

 

I think that it was Hux. I started off reviewing in the main forum and putting links on my blog but that proved problematic and I stopped. I just list the books I have read and I'll catch up reviewing in the main forum. To be clear, BGO does not have personal blogs so we don't really know how that works, hence the confusion. I don't think that posting the same review twice is useful though.

 

Making sure people are comfortable is the main priority and since we BGOers are new we should just fit in.

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I would suggest a board for...

21st century books

20th century books

19th century books

 

That's just what I'm used to and it feels easier to access reviews that way. I generally avoid people's book blogs. Feels a bit like I'm intruding on their private thoughts.

 

 

Edited by Hux

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1 hour ago, lunababymoonchild said:

 

Members can put links in their personal reading blogs so that that isn't taken away from them. 

 

 

1 hour ago, Hayley said:

 

I did notice that someone (maybe Hux?) was posting their review on their book blog and starting a thread for it as well. I do feel that might be better than people putting lots of links to other pages in their blogs, just for ease of reading (and especially since a lot of us do multiple reviews at a time - you don't want to end up with lots of tabs open or having to keep re-loading the page). What do you think?

 

 

People used to put links in the genre threads to reviews they had posted in their own blogs.  So, for example, if someone reviewed a Jane Austin novel in their blog they might put a link to the review in an existing Jane Austin thread.

 

I do think people should do one or the other, however, in preference to posting the same content twice.

 

Quote

 

We do have a lot of space in those genre threads that we don't really use though, I think it would be nice to see them active again if a few people like the idea of using them as well as our blogs. 

 

 

But how are they best filled? One of the problems of starting a new thread for every review is that sections quickly fill up with threads with very few comments. 

 

If someone is looking for comments about a specific book, they are going to use the search function, not wade through multiple pages of a genre thread. 

 

If someone is just browsing, a blog is just as valid as individual threads (and blogs can help to give a better context for a review than an individual thread because you can see what others books the reviewer has read and what they thought of them).

 

The one reason you might want to have individual threads for individual books is if you are looking to bump up your rating in a search engine, as a thread title will score more highly for a subject than a post in a thread, but search engine optimisation is a whole other ball game and probably shouldn't be used to determine a format people should post too.

 

ETA:

 

Forgot this bit:

 

1 hour ago, Hayley said:

 

I'll have a look at both and maybe the format can be something we all vote on. The Reading Circles were before my time so if anybody does remember those could you let me know :).

 

 

Regarding the Reading Circle; this used to be monthly, and a member would nominate a book and then take charge of a thread where they would ask questions on that book, that the other forum members who took part would then answer.

 

Edited by Raven

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9 minutes ago, lunababymoonchild said:

To be clear, BGO does not have personal blogs so we don't really know how that works, hence the confusion

Oh, I didn't realise that you didn't use personal blogs at all. I can see why it seems a bit weird over here then!

 

11 minutes ago, lunababymoonchild said:

I started off reviewing in the main forum and putting links on my blog but that proved problematic and I stopped.

To be fair, that will probably be easier when we sort out the embedded links error!

 

12 minutes ago, lunababymoonchild said:

Making sure people are comfortable is the main priority and since we BGOers are new we should just fit in.

You do fit in and, since you're a BCFer as well as a BGOer now, your opinion on how you're comfortable using the forum matters :) 

 

13 minutes ago, Hux said:

I would suggest a board for...

21st century books

20th century books

19th century books

 

That's just what I'm used to and it feels easier to access reviews that way. I generally avoid people's book blogs. Feels a bit like I'm intruding on their private thoughts.

 

 

That's really interesting. We do tend to have a lot of informal, personal stuff on here. Do you think maybe you'd feel more comfortable with the blogs after spending more time here? 

Regarding the board for centuries; I just popped over to BGO to look at your set up there and I'm not quite sure how it works. If you were posting about a 19th century horror, for example, would you post in 19th century or horror? Or both?

 

19 minutes ago, Raven said:

People used to put links in the genre threads to reviews they had posted in their own blogs.  So, for example, if someone reviewed a Jane Austin novel in their blog they might put a link to the review in an existing Jane Austin thread.

That does make a lot more sense.

 

21 minutes ago, Raven said:

But how are they best filled? One of the problems of starting a new thread for every review is that sections quickly fill up with threads with very few comments. 

 

If someone is looking for comments about a specific book, they are going to use the search function, not wade through multiple pages of a genre thread. 

 

If someone is just browsing, a blog is just as valid as individual threads (and blogs can help to give a better context for a review than an individual thread because you can see what others books the reviewer has read and what they thought of them).

 

The one reason you might want to have individual threads for individual books is if you are looking to bump up your rating in a search engine, as a thread title will score more highly for a subject than a post in a thread, but search engine optimisation is a whole other ball game and probably shouldn't be used to determine a format people should post too

I think you've just basically summed up why we don't really use those threads any more! I love the book blogs and the way they show individual personalities and reading preferences. They're a huge part of this forum and they're definitely not going anywhere. And yet, we have the genre threads, they take up a lot of the front page of the forum, so I do think it's worth considering their use. The above comments have made me wonder whether new members would feel more comfortable using those threads than making/commenting on personal blogs?

I do think it would be inevitable, if we did start using the genre threads more, that some posts would get few or no comments. You can see that happening if you go to those threads now and look back when they still were being used a lot. From a very brief browse I think that also happens on BGO. The book blogs do, by their nature, get used a lot more.  

(There's a lot of things we could do to improve SEO but getting a sudden surge of traffic from being high up a search engine's results really wouldn't benefit us, so that's definitely not a consideration.)

 

This is an interesting but complicated one! 

 

I feel like I should point out, in case anybody's worried here, that I'm not going to start trying to tell people how and where they can post. We can have a conversation about using the genre threads more, to see if people would like that, but there's never going to be any pressure to change the way you use the forum right now. 

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2 hours ago, Raven said:

If someone is looking for comments about a specific book, they are going to use the search function, not wade through multiple pages of a genre thread. 

 

 The jpy of BGo for me has been finding fantastic books that I would never have heard of if someone hadn't posted a review on the main forums.    To use a search engine I need to know what I am looking for before I start.

2 hours ago, Raven said:

One of the problems of starting a new thread for every review is that sections quickly fill up with threads with very few comments. 

Not sure how that is a problem. Can be irritating if the comments are simply "I agree" or similar, but an inactive tread sinks down the page and is quickly replaced by new titles.

The number of forum categories on BGO has annoyed some people in the past, and has been tweaked a few times since it was first designed, but  on the whole it has worked during its 16 years for sharing our book discoveries with lots of other readers and, as Hux and luna have indicated, we are going to miss it enormously.

 

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28 minutes ago, Hayley said:

Regarding the board for centuries; I just popped over to BGO to look at your set up there and I'm not quite sure how it works. If you were posting about a 19th century horror, for example, would you post in 19th century or horror? Or both?

 

As a moderator on BGO, and a member from the beginning, I will try to answer any questions you have about the way it worked - but not immdiately as it is waay past my bedtime.

But with regard to your question in the quote above.

The centuries boards are for "literary" books....Don't ask!

 It isn't always easy to make the decision as to what is 'literary' and what is 'genre'. Usually, maybe after some discussion, a moderator decides and moves a thread that is in the 'wrong' category. Occasionally there have been titles that have moved around a bit as opinions on it vary, but BGO is a very friendly, generally non-confrontational site**, and it is all done amicably.

 

** Much of this is thanks to the wisdom, tact and diplomacy of our late and much missed administrator, David

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1 hour ago, Hayley said:

Regarding the board for centuries; I just popped over to BGO to look at your set up there and I'm not quite sure how it works. If you were posting about a 19th century horror, for example, would you post in 19th century or horror? Or both?

 

If it was very specifically a horror genre then it would go in horror. If it was a classic (Frankenstein etc) it might go in classics. I think the centuries boards are mostly for literary fiction that isn't that genre specific (which is most books).

 

For me, it's more about finding reviews easily and discovering new books as a result of that process.

 

A blog system seems intuitively resistant to the pursuit of encouraging discussion; like reading someone's diary then leaving a comment while they were sleeping. Dunno. Just feels a bit odd to me. Whereas a review somewhere more visible might encourage me to engage with the content. 

 

Essentially, if someone writes a book blog and loves a book which I happen to hate, posting on their blog feels a bit like going to their house and throwing excrement at their windows. But if the review is in a public place, I'm simply criticising the book... not them (which is what it would feel like). Which, in turn, would encourage me to post more. 

 

 

Edited by Hux

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It's been interesting reading through the posts here. Clearly the two forums evolved differently, with really good aspects to be found in both. There has always been an ebb and flow to the forum here, and the forum has undergone quite a few significant changes. It would be great to merge things in a way that would suit us all. 

 

The bottom line is that we all love reading, and so long as we keep that in the forefront of our interactions with each other, be it in blogs or review threads, we should all gain positively from our time spent on here. Hux, feel free to come throw poop in my blog anytime - it needs a bit of a re decoration - the curtains are hideous!  I have been in a YA groove for quite a while now, so you may well find yourself more flinging and less commenting. :)

 

Reading Circles / Reading groups. I think we had the group reads, where we decided upon a book to read at the same time. I seem to remember we drew up a list of members (who volunteered themselves!) who would 'run' them, with questions to promote discussion etc. 

 

We also did a 'pass the book along' thing, with a "I have this great book that I really enjoyed, I'll post it to anyone who fancies a read" vibe, that was then forwarded on until the last person who had it returned it to the original poster. It could get long winded, and often was quite a small pass around.

 

A shake up would be a really good thing, and the timing is perfect with the change of host and arrival of fellow readers from BGO. Let me wrack my brain over other things that worked well, but have fallen away. 

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14 hours ago, megustaleer said:

 

To use a search engine I need to know what I am looking for before I start.

 

 

Which is why I followed that comment up with one about browsing ;)

 

I think an important point to make here is that people don't have to have a blog to post book reviews; members are free to post as they like and although most now choose to put their reviews in a blog - I suspect mainly to keep track of their reading history, as much as anything - people are still free to post individual reviews in the appropriate section. 

 

Also, I'm not sure if posters from BGO are aware of this, most of the blogs have a list of the books the thread's author has read, that can be browsed and then the reviews found from there.

 

14 hours ago, megustaleer said:

 

Not sure how that is a problem. Can be irritating if the comments are simply "I agree" or similar, but an inactive tread sinks down the page and is quickly replaced by new titles.

The number of forum categories on BGO has annoyed some people in the past, and has been tweaked a few times since it was first designed, but  on the whole it has worked during its 16 years for sharing our book discoveries with lots of other readers and, as Hux and luna have indicated, we are going to miss it enormously.

 


When this forum was looking like it was going to close - a couple of years back - I did take a look around some other book forums and BGO was one of the ones I decided against joining because there seemed to be a lot of single posts that made it look like there was very little discussion taking place.

 

13 hours ago, Hux said:

 

For me, it's more about finding reviews easily and discovering new books as a result of that process.

 

A blog system seems intuitively resistant to the pursuit of encouraging discussion; like reading someone's diary then leaving a comment while they were sleeping. Dunno. Just feels a bit odd to me. Whereas a review somewhere more visible might encourage me to engage with the content. 

 

Essentially, if someone writes a book blog and loves a book which I happen to hate, posting on their blog feels a bit like going to their house and throwing excrement at their windows. But if the review is in a public place, I'm simply criticising the book... not them (which is what it would feel like). Which, in turn, would encourage me to post more. 

 

 

This is a small forum with a small population of members who, like BGO, have mostly been posting here for an extended period, so member's book blogs probably are a little more familiar than they would otherwise be if they were just being written as straight review threads.

 

I guess it depends what you are looking for. 

 

If you are only interested in books then I can see why you might not like this approach, but if you are looking to be part of an active community then I think any discomfort you may currently be feeling will wear off as you get more familiar with the locals.

 

I also don't think most people will object if you post negative comments about a book they liked, provided it's done in a constructive way and with respect. 

 

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52 minutes ago, Raven said:

I think an important point to make here is that people don't have to have a blog to post book reviews; members are free to post as they like and although most now choose to put their reviews in a blog - I suspect mainly to keep track of their reading history, as much as anything - people are still free to post individual reviews in the appropriate section. 

 

Also, I'm not sure if posters from BGO are aware of this, most of the blogs have a list of the books the thread's author has read, that can be browsed and then the reviews found from there.

 


When this forum was looking like it was going to close - a couple of years back - I did take a look around some other book forums and BGO was one of the ones I decided against joining because there seemed to be a lot of single posts that made it look like there was very little discussion taking place.

 

 

This is a small forum with a small population of members who, like BGO, have mostly been posting here for an extended period, so member's book blogs probably are a little more familiar than they would otherwise be if they were just being written as straight review threads.

 

I guess it depends what you are looking for. 

 

If you are only interested in books then I can see why you might not like this approach, but if you are looking to be part of an active community then I think any discomfort you may currently be feeling will wear off as you get more familiar with the locals.

 

I also don't think most people will object if you post negative comments about a book they liked, provided it's done in a constructive way and with respect. 

 


I don't want to turn this into an us and you type discussion. I asked about personal book blogs because I'd never seen them before. On BGO we have a pinned thread where members keep a list of what they have read with reviews (or not) in the appropriate forum - we don't always get that right and the mods move them! 
 

I think, for me certainly, it's just a case of getting used to what's here and getting to know everybody. To that end, thank you for welcoming us and patiently explaining how things are set up. We are not too happy about BGO closing - and I know everybody here understands that - and we've become used/attached to 'our' format. I'm sure we'll settle in soon.

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8 hours ago, Raven said:

When this forum was looking like it was going to close - a couple of years back - I did take a look around some other book forums and BGO was one of the ones I decided against joining because there seemed to be a lot of single posts that made it look like there was very little discussion taking place.

I can appreciate that.

If you will indulge me,  I'd like to give a potted history, as I see it, of how BGO has come to such a sad end.

 BGO has had a number of trials and tribulations, including misunderstandings between the founder and the original hosts.These resulted in unannounced closures, loss or destruction of data, including many  book reviews and other posts, and a year's worth of membership details.  That was resolved when the founder (who had long moved on to other things) passed ownership to the members, and 'David' became administrator.

  He steered us through the move to invision (not without problems from our old hosts, so I feel Hayley's current pain), and things were looking much brighter. Sadly, within 6months, disaster struck again as 'David' was taken seriously ill, and died.

 

This was a crushing blow to all those who had stuck with BGO though the difficult times, and although we tried to continue the recovery David had started  none of us had his knowledge, commitment and people skills.  Over the last seven years more and more members have drifted away, and the quantity and quality of actual book discussion has diminished.  A handful of loyal members remain, and post regularly, but the spark has gone, and I think the moderating team have been too long in acknowledging that. 

 

I am sorry, Raven, that your visit to BGO came during these last few years, and that the taste you had of us was so insipid. 

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22 hours ago, megustaleer said:

Not sure how that is a problem. Can be irritating if the comments are simply "I agree" or similar, but an inactive tread sinks down the page and is quickly replaced by new titles.

I think this is probably one of the main differences with BCF. The way that we moderate the forum is partly based on the concept that a thread should always have the intention of generating discussion. The worry being that lots of posts nobody is going to respond to might lead to the forum feeling cluttered and potentially stop people from finding the more active threads. Clearly though, BGO is an example of that not becoming a problem. I imagine because there was a pretty constant flow of new review threads?

 

22 hours ago, megustaleer said:

As a moderator on BGO, and a member from the beginning, I will try to answer any questions you have about the way it worked - but not immdiately as it is waay past my bedtime.

But with regard to your question in the quote above.

The centuries boards are for "literary" books....Don't ask!

 It isn't always easy to make the decision as to what is 'literary' and what is 'genre'. Usually, maybe after some discussion, a moderator decides and moves a thread that is in the 'wrong' category. Occasionally there have been titles that have moved around a bit as opinions on it vary, but BGO is a very friendly, generally non-confrontational site**, and it is all done amicably.

Thank you :) it was also past my bedtime! I can see that decision to move a thread becoming a complex literary debate pretty frequently :lol: but I do see how it works now. 

 

22 hours ago, Hux said:

If it was very specifically a horror genre then it would go in horror. If it was a classic (Frankenstein etc) it might go in classics. I think the centuries boards are mostly for literary fiction that isn't that genre specific (which is most books).

We do have a classics section already, so do you think if we were to have century divisions within that it would work in the same way?

 

22 hours ago, Hux said:

A blog system seems intuitively resistant to the pursuit of encouraging discussion; like reading someone's diary then leaving a comment while they were sleeping. Dunno. Just feels a bit odd to me. Whereas a review somewhere more visible might encourage me to engage with the content. 

I am wondering whether there's a chance you might have been looking at a personal blog, rather than a book blog? I could be wrong but those are definitely more like diaries. Most people do just use their book blogs for reviews but some people have personal blogs as well, where they just talk about whatever they want and often things that are happening in their lives (under 'General Chat' - 'Members Threads'). 

 

22 hours ago, Hux said:

Essentially, if someone writes a book blog and loves a book which I happen to hate, posting on their blog feels a bit like going to their house and throwing excrement at their windows. But if the review is in a public place, I'm simply criticising the book... not them (which is what it would feel like). Which, in turn, would encourage me to post more. 

I love this explanation and I absolutely see where you're coming from with it. I suppose because most of us have been talking to each other for years on here we take it for granted that we're comfortable with each other. I don't know if it helps in the slightest but I can assure you that even the personal blogs here aren't actually treated as private spaces. Other members definitely want you to chat on there. When it comes to reviews you'd obviously be spoken to about saying offensive things like 'I can't believe you liked that book, you must be stupid', but that never actually happens. Saying something along the lines of 'I'm glad you enjoyed this, I didn't actually like it for [reason]' is absolutely normal though.

For the record, if you hated a book that I loved I promise I would not be offended about it, but I would love to talk to someone with such a different opinion!

 

13 hours ago, Chrissy said:

Reading Circles / Reading groups. I think we had the group reads, where we decided upon a book to read at the same time. I seem to remember we drew up a list of members (who volunteered themselves!) who would 'run' them, with questions to promote discussion etc. 

I do vaguely remember people deciding on the book actually! Can you remember whether the same members ran it every time? Or did that change depending on the book?

 

13 hours ago, Chrissy said:

A shake up would be a really good thing, and the timing is perfect with the change of host and arrival of fellow readers from BGO. Let me wrack my brain over other things that worked well, but have fallen away. 

Thank you! :) 

 

13 hours ago, Chrissy said:

It's been interesting reading through the posts here. Clearly the two forums evolved differently, with really good aspects to be found in both. There has always been an ebb and flow to the forum here, and the forum has undergone quite a few significant changes. It would be great to merge things in a way that would suit us all.

My thoughts exactly :) 

 

6 hours ago, lunababymoonchild said:

I think, for me certainly, it's just a case of getting used to what's here and getting to know everybody. To that end, thank you for welcoming us and patiently explaining how things are set up. We are not too happy about BGO closing - and I know everybody here understands that - and we've become used/attached to 'our' format. I'm sure we'll settle in soon.

I don't want you to feel like you're having to argue in favour of BGO's format, I hope you don't. There's no pressure to explain on this thread either. I just think this a good opportunity for us to take a step back and think of ways we might be able to make the forum better. The fact that some of you have recently joined us from BGO, with the experience of a forum that's similar in some ways but very different in others, seems like a great opportunity to get a different perspective and learn from it though :).

 

One of the things this discussion has really highlighted for me is that the forum is complicated to new members. Most of us here have been using the forum for many years and we're used to the way things have settled over time, but that's not necessarily a purely good thing. I want the forum to keep going for as long as it possibly can and for that to happen new people need to be able to join in comfortably. Something I'm definitely going to put together on the back of this is a simple guide to getting started, that's immediately visible on the front page.

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20 minutes ago, Hayley said:

I think this is probably one of the main differences with BCF. The way that we moderate the forum is partly based on the concept that a thread should always have the intention of generating discussion. The worry being that lots of posts nobody is going to respond to might lead to the forum feeling cluttered and potentially stop people from finding the more active threads. Clearly though, BGO is an example of that not becoming a problem. I imagine because there was a pretty constant flow of new review threads?

 

BGO is very lightly moderated.   There are a few 'forbidden' types of post, which usually get deleted or the poster banned, but otherwise posts, particularly in book threads, are left for members to respond to - or not.  

We also have a policy of encouraging late-comers to a discussion to add to a dormant thread - maybe to respond to a OP that had previously had not generated discussion, or it may be that someone has an  entirely different take on the book, and sets off a whole new train of thought.

 

Admittedly "Those were the days". Suffering a bit from nostalgia here :(

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13 hours ago, megustaleer said:

BGO is very lightly moderated.   There are a few 'forbidden' types of post, which usually get deleted or the poster banned, but otherwise posts, particularly in book threads, are left for members to respond to - or not.  

I probably didn't phrase what I said very well (once again, it was past my bedtime!). I didn't mean that we heavily moderate content, we don't take posts down if they don't generate a response, but our rules and guidelines suggest that posts should be created with the intention of generating discussion. For example: 

'When starting a new thread for a specific book, series, or even author, it's helpful if you can provide more information, as well as your own thoughts or review. Considering the amount of books and authors out there, simply asking if anyone has read it/them probably won't get much response'. 

These have been there, as far as I know, since the very start of the forum. So I suppose, although it's not an actual set rule, this forum has just discouraged it. 

 

13 hours ago, megustaleer said:

We also have a policy of encouraging late-comers to a discussion to add to a dormant thread - maybe to respond to a OP that had previously had not generated discussion, or it may be that someone has an  entirely different take on the book, and sets off a whole new train of thought.

How did you encourage that to happen? 

 

18 hours ago, megustaleer said:

I'd like to give a potted history, as I see it, of how BGO has come to such a sad end.

I know I said this before but I really am so sorry. It's even more heart-breaking to hear that BGO had already bounced back from so much once. I know it's not the same here but I hope you can at least enjoy the company of other book lovers.

 

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30 minutes ago, Hayley said:

How did you encourage that to happen? 

 

We welcome new comers and tell them to post on any thread that they feel like because it does re-start the conversation. That has happened and it's been great.

 

30 minutes ago, Hayley said:

I know I said this before but I really am so sorry. It's even more heart-breaking to hear that BGO had already bounced back from so much once. I know it's not the same here but I hope you can at least enjoy the company of other book lovers. - my highlight

 

We do and we will. We're coming across as pretty grumpy and that's why.  I've been with BGO for 12 years and access the forum multiple times a day (I seem to be the only one these days!). We were also generating some income by allowing members to buy through a link on the forum from Amazon, so thought (I did, anyway) that we were fine. I'd noticed that it was quiet but never thought that it would come to shutting us down. 

 

We were lightly moderated because, like you, we knew each other well and as a result of this we behaved well, I'm pretty sure that's what Meg meant.

 

I feel certain that we can all make this work.

Edited by lunababymoonchild

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20 hours ago, megustaleer said:

 

I am sorry, Raven, that your visit to BGO came during these last few years, and that the taste you had of us was so insipid. 

 

 

I wouldn't put it that strongly, and if it helps it wasn't the only reason I didn't join (the other reasons had nothing to do with BGO). 

 

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23 hours ago, Hayley said:

 

One of the things this discussion has really highlighted for me is that the forum is complicated to new members. 

 

 

I don't think the forum itself is complicated, and whilst the feedback from the BGO members is useful in some ways - a fresh pair of eyes, and all that - it is also unhelpful in other ways, because like our own views it is coloured by the way their forum works (what I am saying is we've all got preconceived ideas about how a forum should work that other potential new members probably won't have - unless they too are used to other forum boards).

 

I personally think the biggest hurdle to attracting and retaining new members isn't how the forum itself is structured, or how and where people make posts, it is how quickly we can make new members feel a part of the forum without them feeling like they are intruding into a clique. 

 

I'm not sure how we go about addressing that...

 

Were it possible, I suspect the most valuable feedback we could get would be from people who have joined, posted a few times, but subsequently decided the forum isn't for them.

 

As an aside - a suggestion for when the forum has moved to Invision - would be to e-mail all former forum members to tell them about the upgrade and to invite them back - not sure how easy that is or what the likely take up would be...

 

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